Raleigh Report

After snag, crews relocate Raleigh’s acorn

Work crews on Thursday moved Raleigh’s acorn sculpture from Moore Square to the intersection of South and Salisbury streets downtown.
Work crews on Thursday moved Raleigh’s acorn sculpture from Moore Square to the intersection of South and Salisbury streets downtown. aspecht@newsobserver.com

Crews hit a snag with what may be the one acorn in the city they want to keep from hitting the ground.

Workers on Wednesday postponed their efforts to relocate the 1,250-pound, steel acorn from Moore Square to South Salisbury Street when the sculpture didn’t fit on a new base its artist had designed for it.

The 10-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide acorn is used during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in City Plaza.

The city had invited the media to watch crews relocate the acorn from Moore Square, where it had stayed since 1991, to a spot in front of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

But the pipe connecting the base to the sculpture “wouldn’t fit down the receptacle of the acorn,” said Stacy Rexrode, curator of Raleigh’s exhibitions and collections. The hole “was the exact same size as the pipe, so it wouldn’t slide down over top.”

So workers set the acorn on a temporary mount and artist Jim Gallucci fashioned a new base at his Greensboro home Wednesday night. Gallucci returned to Raleigh on Thursday morning, and work crews lifted the acorn onto its new base.

Raleigh paid $4,500 to create the new base and move the acorn to South Salisbury Street, where it will stay permanently. The site was previously home to a sculpture of Sir Walter Raleigh, which now stands in front of the Raleigh Convention Center.

The acorn had to vacate Moore Square because city is spending more than $12.6 million to renovate the park.

The old, concrete base was too heavy and hard to move to the new location, Rexrode said.

Paul A. Specht: 919-829-4870, @AndySpecht

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